March 2-3, Wangdue: To enhance the propagation and orchard management skills and capacity, the Integrated Horticulture Promotion Project (JICA) based at ARDC, Bajo conducted two days hand-on-training for 12 extension staff of Punakha, Wangdue, Dagana and Gasa.
The training covered in-house lectures and field practical sessions through JICA experts and the horticulture sector.
On the first day, the JICA experts briefed on the importance of proper planning, site selection and management while establishing an orchard to maximise the benefits of quality harvest. Participants were also given insights on the importance of citrus greening diseases (HLB) and choices of specific varieties according to altitude to avoid disease prevalence. In the afternoon, participants visited the on-station field activities in the centre and explored on handling grafting tools, various grafting/budding techniques of deciduous fruit tree such as walnut and kiwi, training and pruning of the young pear fruit plants.
On the second day, participants were provided hands-on-training on top-working and pruning of fruit trees. To make the training program realistic, they were trained to do top-working on apple trees which was planted a long time back but failed to bear fruits. As per the experts’ observation, the failure was mainly due to choice of wrong variety and improper planning. Participants were also taught on pruning techniques and training of older pear trees along with the parameters that needs to be considered while pruning and training. They have also learnt to identify and select the viable buds such as the fruit bud and flush bud while pruning.
Participants realised that the training was timely, very informative and practical. It is expected that the knowledge and skills gained from the training will be put into action, ultimately contributing in rural household’s income through horticulture cultivation since its products are the major source of cash income for farmers in the west-central region.
Submitted by Tanka M. Pulami, ARDC Bajo
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